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NEON (The Las Vegas Review Journal) - Friday, March 13, 1998
CLOSE UP: THE TRENIERS
Talk about an overdue tribute!
Lounge legends The Treniers have only been playing Las Vegas hotel venues for 50 years, arriving in the early 1940s when the Strip was just beginning to blossom.
The group founded by still-active member Claude Trenier has simply seen and done it all, entertaining big stars and countless millions of visitors and locals with its winning music and sense of class.
On Monday night at The Orleans, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., "A Tribute to the Treniers" will find Claude and company in the showroom spotlight as fellow entertainers gather to celebrate a most remarkable run. Featured performers will include jazz great Joe Williams, comics Marty Allen, Rip Taylor and Babe Pier, dancer Norma Miller and lounge veteran Freddie Bell among others.
Pete Barbutti will host the two-hour show produced by Harry Seybold and the Treniers will grace the stage for a big finale. Tickets for the 8 p.m. tribute are $15 each, available in advance or night of show at the Orleans Showroom box office.
"We're still having fun," said Claude Trenier, noting that his brothers and former group mainstays Buddy and Milt Trenier will travel to Las Vegas to join the current lineup for a tune or two. A fourth brother and original member, Cliff Trenier, passed away.
Saxophone player Don Hill remains with the group after 50 years of service since the original Treniers left Alabama in 1941 and worked their way west to become a welcome fixture in Vegas lounges.
"Sometimes Bill Cosby would come up and do the last show for us," recalled Claude Trenier, "and stars like Liberace and Frank Sinatra would come by after their shows to hang out or get up onstage with us. They just had fun and the people would be jamming."
The Treniers have performed in lounges from the now-departed Hacienda and downtown Mint hotels to the megaresorts that dominate the modern Las Vegas scene. And the group intends to keep on going.
"I still look forward to it every night," said Trenier. "Just looking out into the crowd and seeing people smiling makes you feel good."
-- Michael Paskevich